The Congress of South African Trade Unions visited Pica-Pau and Educar schools at Pomfret in the municipality of Kagisono. The area was named Pomfret during the old regime of the SA government. The community worked for the SADF during the apartheid government years.
There are two schools in one yard. Pica-Pau is a high school and Educar is a primary school. The high school performed very badly at grade 12 for two years in 2010 (10%) and in 2011 (22%). COSATU adopted the school in 2012, which has improved to 57% with all those challenges that the school is facing. The school had a challenge of water, sanitation, toilets and the worst is the poverty which is led by our own government by evicting part of the community to Mahikeng.
The eviction issue has been running since 2008, and until now the community has not been stable. Most of the government houses, clinics, shops and many services have been removed. The only active department is education, with those critical challenges.
After the intervention of the federation, government was able to build toilets with no water. The two schools are still under-performing due to those critical challenges created by our own government.
During the reopening of schools, it was clear that the schools and community challenges demand political intervention from both national and provincial government, with all services. Our government must reconsider the withdrawal of the evictions and redevelop the area for better living conditions for the human beings. People from outside our country are also human beings and they need respect with their lives with health.
The high school has got 237 learners and the primary has 477. The disappointing issue, which is painful, is that some of learners in the high schools and in the primary are parents. They have kids who are in the same school with them. One of the painful stories is that a 14-year old girl in grade 6 is currently pregnant and we are told this was due to statutory rape. This case has been long reported to the police in 2012, but with no action till today in 2013. Crime is very high; the poor community has no clinic, and the police are not helping them on this matter of criminal activity, including the crime of killing each other.
We are asking our government to intervene. We will be going back in the two weeks to convene a mass meeting of all community members and with all the students to take up some of this matters with them openly and find a solution to the matter, in particular the issues of education, the evictions, criminal activities and poverty.
We are asking the premier of the NW to take these matters seriously as they have the potential of increasing our criminals’ activities and reducing our results in the country. Our educators are working under very bad conditions with challenges of tribalism which has a potential of creating a fight among educators.
We are also calling the media to visit the area just to see the conditions that the educators, learners and the community are living in.
For more information feel free to call the NW Provincial Secretary of COSATU, Solly Phetoe,